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Stéphane Jorisch, illustrator of Jabberwocky, has won his third Governor's-General award for his artwork, which has been called "a haunting, surreal vision."

Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson presented four awards Monday for children's literature at a ceremony at Rideau Hall.

The literary awards are granted by the Canada Council for the Arts and went to two illustrators and two authors.

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In the English-language category, Jorisch won in the illustration category for Jabberwocky, for his "anti-war imagery ... evocative of Orwell and Picasso."

"I was really totally surprised and happy," Jorisch told globeandmail.com.

The illustrator described a 30-minute session he had with children aged 12 to 14 after the awards ceremony. He showed them the illustrations via Power Point, allowing the children to ask questions.

"The laughed and asked questions about how long each image took to make and my ideas behind them," Jorisch said. "I tried to describe what was going through my head for each image."

Also in the English-language category, Kenneth Oppel won for writing Airborn, which the jury termed 'a feat of powerful imagination .'

In the French-language category, Nicole Leroux won for L'Hiver de Léo Polatouche. Janice Nadeau won for her illustrations in Nul Poisson ou Aller.

Jorisch's previously won in the illustration category for children's literature in 1993 and 1999. It was the first Governor's-General award for the other three winners.

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The winning entrants were chosen from among 258 English-language and 275 French-language books.

"It's important for children to find a book that they can have a unique and private connection with, just as they do with a special friend," Ms. Clarkson said in a release. "The book becomes a child's secret garden or undercover adventure. This year's prize-winning books encourage such marvellous friendships to grow."

The winners each received a $15,000 cheque and each publisher received a $3000 grant to go toward promotion of their book.

"In a world dominated by television, video games and the Internet, children's authors and illustrators have an extraordinary challenge: To create books that stimulate the senses, the emotions and the imaginations of our young people and instill in them a lifelong love of reading," John Hobday, director of the Canada Council for the Arts, said in a release.

The winners for the categories of fiction, nonfiction, drama, poetry and translation in both English and French will be announced on Tuesday.

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